Happy Birthday to Portia de Rossi, 41.

No shortage of good stuff:

1. Could Barack Obama finally start using his power to commute sentences in a way many of his supporters have pressed for? Meredith Clark and Adam Serwer have the story.

2. Good Joshua Green item on Henry Waxman in the House.

3. While Seth Masket focuses on Henry Waxman, party builder.

4. Ed Kilgore on the (possible) demise of the party conventions. I do think the case for public funding of the conventions is extremely weak, although I’d rather see the money go to some other, more badly needed area of democracy -- perhaps partial public funding for House candidates. Or at least election administration.

5. Yeah, I think Amy Fried has a pretty good point here: invoking the “founding fathers” when it comes to voting is probably not going to be convincing.

6. Ross Douthat on what the real problem for “reform” conservatives is.

7. Scott Brown, presidential candidate? Really? David S. Bernstein makes the case.